Antibody Therapy Controls HIV for Months in New Clinical Trial Led by Rockefeller University Scientists/Physicians

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 (in green) budding from cultured lymphocyte. Multiple round bumps on cell surface represent sites of assembly and budding of virions. (Credit: Wikipedia).
Antiretroviral therapy has made HIV a manageable condition, but it does not eliminate the virus from the body—and most regimens are expensive and require a pill every day, for the rest of the patient’s life. Now, findings from a clinical trial led by Rockefeller University scientists highlight anti-HIV antibodies as a novel treatment option; one that wouldn’t rely on vigilant daily dosing and could potentially reduce the body’s reservoir of HIV, which conventional antiretroviral drugs cannot do. The findings, published on April 13, 2022 in Nature, suggest that the antibody treatment could be used in combination with long-acting antiretrovirals, or alone after such medications have sufficiently brought down viral levels. “The idea is that you would still be on HIV treatment, but instead of having to take a pill every day, with the long-acting versions of the antibodies, patients would be able to take infusions every six months,” says Marina Caskey, MD, a Professor of Clinical Investigation at Rockefeller, who co-led the study with Michel C. Nussenzweig, MD, PhD, the Zanvil A. Cohn and Ralph M. Steinman Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology. The Nature article is titled “Prolonged Viral Suppression with Anti-HIV-1 Antibody Therapy.”
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